Ukraine: Russia’s attack on Odesa’s port a step towards ‘disastrous’ global crisis

Responding to the Russian armed forces’ latest attack on Odesa’s port infrastructure and grain facilities, and subsequent thinly veiled threat to attack sea vessels attempting to transport Ukraine’s grain, Anna Wright, Amnesty International’s Researcher for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said:

“Russia’s strike on grain supply warehouses in Odesa’s port, following its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Deal, is a step that may elevate the global crisis triggered by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine to disastrous new levels.

“As Ukraine is a key supplier of grain globally and provides the majority of grain imports to Eastern and Southern Africa, Russia’s disruption of Ukraine’s grain exports and its callous destruction, in a single strike, of at least 60,000 tonnes of grain and important export infrastructure, has the potential to bring famine to countries already suffering from drought and humanitarian crises.

“Furthermore, Russia’s threat to treat all ships travelling to Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea as carriers of military equipment reveals its readiness to strip those most in need of critical food supplies for its own military aims and sends a clear message that Russian forces are prepared to commit new war crimes. By stepping up its war of aggression in this manner, Russia is holding some of the world’s lowest income countries hostage to its military and political agenda.

“Russia must urgently end its war of aggression in Ukraine, and all those suspected of responsibility for crimes under international law must be held to account in fair trials. The international community should also take measures to ensure safe trade routes for Ukraine’s grain, so it can be delivered to regions dependent on it for food security.”


Amnesty International has been working to document war crimes and other crimes under international law since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. All of Amnesty International’s outputs published to date can be found here.